How Retailers Prepare For The Holiday Season

With the holidays right around the corner, retailers are preparing for a busy shopping season. Here are three challenges retailers should be prepared to tackle this shopping season.

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With the holidays right around the corner, retailers are preparing for a busy shopping season. Each year, more consumers are shopping online. As a result, retailers must invest in their digital storefronts, backend security, and supporting software to keep customers coming back.

So, with holiday shopping ramping up, what challenges should retailers be prepared to tackle this year?

Problem #1: How To Prevent Data Breaches?

A data breach can cost millions of dollars, tarnish a company’s reputation, and leave customers with little trust that their information will be kept safe. In fact, according to the Ponemon Institute and IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach Report, the average total cost of a data breach increased from $3.86 million to $4.24 million in 2021.

Cybersecurity can feel like an endless game of one-upping bad actors, with even large companies struggling to keep up with digital innovation that has resulted in an ever-increasing number and complexity of cyber attacks. 

In a digital world where automated attacks can quickly overwhelm manual monitoring attempts, having adept and skilled professionals in place is critical to a company’s continued prosperity and longevity.

Solution: Invest In Cybersecurity Preparation and Plan Ahead

To tackle the cybersecurity threats attempting to infiltrate your organization, it’s crucial to develop a two-pronged plan – a prevention strategy and a response procedure.

Prevention Strategy

You’ve likely heard that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of treatment, which is particularly relevant to preventing cybercrime. 

Retailers should reinforce their cyber protocols and ensure that their team is skilled, supplied with appropriate software and platforms, and has the bandwidth necessary to handle the deluge of attacks. This can be accomplished either by outsourcing to third-party providers or investing in internal infrastructure and employees by hiring new employees with up-to-date skills or upskilling your existing workforce. 

Response Procedure

Should bad actors breach your organization’s data stores, it’s vital to have a plan of action in place. 

Shockingly few companies have a solid breach response plan in place, and time wasted scrambling to decide what to do, who has access to what, and which files may have been compromised lets whoever has infiltrated run amok in your system. 

To be fully prepared, retailers should develop, test, and implement an incident response plan to minimize the potential fallout of a breach. 

Related reading: Top 3 Cybersecurity Pain Points in 2022

Problem #2: How To Increase Customer Loyalty?

With the rise of the digital-first era, shoppers are no longer walking into physical stores for their goods. Instead, they are logging onto their computers or opening a mobile app, credit card in hand.

Customer touch points now feature everything from brand-owned mobile apps to traditional website storefronts and social media platforms. Each channel is a chance for retailers’ brand messaging to reinforce customer loyalty.

So, how do retailers elevate the customer experience across all these touchpoints?

Solution: Develop Supportive Software

With so many brand touchpoints across multiple platforms and channels, delivering a seamless, omnichannel experience is key. To achieve this, retailers can invest in software engineering to develop custom retail software. 

Company-specific software creates IT solutions that automate the retail business process, streamlining offerings and product delivery. Everything from sales notification, invoice delivery, shipping, and returns/refunds can be accomplished by one, overarching system. 

That way, no matter where a customer interacts with your brand, they’ll be met with a consistent, pleasant, and easy-to-navigate system they know well. 

Related reading: Top 3 Retail Tech Trends in 2022

Problem #3: How To Quantify Consumer Behavior?

With trends that change at the pace of social media algorithms, it can feel just about impossible to predict trends. What was trendy one moment can be “last season” the next, with product and marketing teams struggling to keep up. 

Many retailers are asking, “how can we quantify customers’ behavior and translate it into sales?”

Solution: Leverage The Power Of Data

To predict consumer behavior and deliver tailored experiences that convert, retailers need simply to harness the power of data. 

Without a doubt, somewhere in every retailer’s system is a mountain of data. This data is generated by customers each time they interact with a brand. Data Scientists use models and machine learning to connect data points from multiple sources and generate actionable insights that can be incorporated into a retailer’s strategy at scale. 

To improve conversion rates, retailers should invest in a team of skilled data scientists – or upskill their current team. Data Scientists can use data-driven insights to create recommendations catered to each customer. That way, they’ll keep them coming back to the company that, somehow, knows them so well.  

Related reading: The (Data) Science Behind Netflix Recommendations

Tech Talent Solutions Made For Retailers

The tech that powers digital shopping is only as effective as the talent behind the scenes. 

For 10 years, Flatiron School has been teaching the tech skills that retailers need most. Let us help accelerate your business with our talent and training solutions.

Contact us today to get started.

Disclaimer: The information in this blog is current as of November 7, 2022. Current policies, offerings, procedures, and programs may differ.

About Anna Van Deusen

Anna Van Deusen is the Marketing Content Manager at Flatiron School. When not writing about tech and Flatiron School students, she can be found hanging out with her dogs on a beach…

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